- Silence of the Lambs: 1
- Rebecca: 1
- Mallrats: 1
- Romy and Michele's High School Reunion: 2
Silence of the LambsPsycopathic psychologist helps newbie FBI agent crack case by "profiling" the other psycopath based on his skills, talents, and the fact that he knew him personally. It's not a good sign when after watching two movies back-to-back, I can't remember what the first one I watched was. I laid there in bed, struggling to remember, trying to find some avenue of attack that would trigger it. All I could remember was that it was an Orion Pictures film, because I remember noticing how the Orion constellation stars at the beginning of the logo sequence weren't rotating while the rest were slowly rotating. Somehow I eventually remembered, though.
And what I remembered is that it just didn't really work for me. I guess Jodie Foster's and Anthony Hopkin's performances were pretty good, but the story seemed poorly put together--from the complaint I make in my plot summary above, to the frivolous POV shift to show Lecter's escape (wasn't this escape technique a cliche before it appeared here and in Leon/The Professional; and I'm sorry, the bit with the 'mask' is not at all plausible) which was entirely tangential to what I thought was the story, to the cheesiness of Foster's character taking him on alone instead of walking out and calling someone.
Maybe it's just that I went in with my expectations too high. Rating (-4 to 4): 1 shading lower.
RebeccaA young woman marries a brooding, gothic Laurence Olivier and moves into his brooding, gothic mansion where his brooding, gothic housekeeper makes her aware of how much her husband broods over his previous brooding, gothically dead wife. I went into this not expecting much, and I got about what I was expecting. The performances from the leads are good; Mrs. Danvers is perhaps too sinisterly malevolent. The production value leaves a little to be desired--one of the rear-projected driving scenes is horribly obviously entirely different angle on the car&actors vs. the road in the background; and there's a sequence where it's rather obvious the actors are acting in front of a rear-projected background instead of actually being there.
But most of all the story is a disappointment. A few odd things occur--Mrs. Danvers extreme behavior, and Rebecca's cousin taking up with her--which don't seem ever really justified by the story, but the worst part is the big twist: it turns out that Rebecca, who supposedly died accidentally in a boating accident, actually died accidentally somehow else. Whoop de doo. They milk it for a few minutes making it seem like a revelation that she was murdered, but I noticed the choice of wording didn't actually admit murder and saw where it was going.
It turns out that this was due to the censors at the time (1940) not being willing to allow the plot twist that's in the book to occur in the movie. As dumb as that is. Oh well. Then the story shifts to focus on the husband, once the nameless new Mrs. de Winter dutifully fully sides with her husband. That would be ok, except they even get the clever idea to leave her at home during the crucial trip to London, presumably so she can have another encounter with Mrs. Danvers--but the upshot is that it forces a POV shift--we see what happens in London, apparently following the husband instead of the person who's been the protagonist and basically sole POV character the entire rest of the movie. That was pretty lame. Also, apparently not how it happens in the book. Thank you David O. Selznick and the Hollywood censors for making the movie worse than the book. Rating (-4 to 4): 1 for the performances and moodiness